Commuting on a Honda CBR250R

I swap my GSX-R600 for Honda's toddler-class sportsbike

In theory, the blue boxes next to traffic lights in London are supposed to be kept clear for pushbikes. More often that not, cyclists end up sharing this space with motorbikes and scooters by day and minicabs in the evening. It is also a resting place for those failed red-light runners.

For new bikers, these congested traffic light starts are probably not much fun. On a geared 125 you are going to be wrestling with cyclists as you move off, not to mention bashed up kamikaze scooters.

The CBR250R I borrowed from MF last night seems to love it though. Where as acceleration on 125 can be a slow affair, the 250 gets up to speed quickly and is more than fast enough to get ahead of the pack if pushed.

Despite the R in its name, Honda’s 250 is not going to get your pulse racing but it can still bring a smile to your face. I got friendly nods on the way in to work today from other bikers, which just doesn’t normally happen on a London commute. I can only think that the bike appears as the stepping-stone from learner to wannabe big biker.

Although the small capacity CBR has been built to a budget, it doesn’t feel cheap. The ride is comfortable and soaked up the still potholed roads pretty well. Handling at slow speeds is nimble which is just what you need to navigate around buses and the crazy guy who stands in the middle of the road at the top of Brixton Hill everyday. The brakes feel really smooth, the digital/analogue clocks easy to read and in typical Honda fashion, everything just works well.

I haven’t ridden the Kawasaki’s Ninja 250R yet, but if someone was looking for a sporty looking first bike to build up some confidence, or a small capacity commuter, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend booking the Honda for a test.

You can read Visordown's original Honda CBR250R review here.